My Special week

So I’ve just returned from what I often describe as the best week of the year Special kids in the UK camp. The week where one field becomes full with family.

I believe this year for me personally has been the best year ever. 

I pushed my own personal boundaries and chatted to more people than ever and have made some amazing new friends thanks to this.

The camp site we stay on is called Lower Lacon and I can say beyond any doubt that it’s one of the best sites anywhere. They go beyond anything for us all and really make the whole group feel welcome. The facilities are fantastic and always spotlessly clean. 

It was certainly a busy camp with everything from adult colouring sessions to a kids magician.

My personal favourite time is always the Special Kids in the UK Olympics. There is nothing better than seeing the determination on the faces of the children as they line up to race. The wobbly walkers, manual wheelchairs and so many more. You can only imagine the intensity of the men’s race, I’m sure there is year round training for this one. 

Seriously I love this afternoon it just sums up Special kids in the UK for me. Its not about being inclusive, it’s that for one week of a year there are no differences, there are no boundaries. No one looks at what our children can’t do it’s always about what they can.  

Alan getting broody over the youngest member of our special kids family.

This year I finally managed to watch the Ugly bug ball, The annual fancy dress competition. Again I think this year topped all previous ones. With the special guest appearance from the Spice girls, though to be honest I think Old Spices would be a better description.

Truly how amazing are they!


Add to these Miley Cyrus, a ninja and the cast of Narnia it was an awesome night.

One of the most poignant times of each camp is the balloon release. Seeing the sky filled with colour in honour of those who have gone too soon both breaks and blesses my heart. I was invited to speak before the release but emotion got the better of me. I wanted to honour all those missing but my heart was just broken. One family from our special kids family had laid their beautiful girl to rest last week. My heart just ached for the pain i know they are facing. My words just spilled into tears. Grief holds a rawness like no other. 

I love this camp, it’s a week where memories are created that will last a lifetime. I love that I get to share stories of Livvy with people who remember with me. At this camp I am always a mom to four girls and I am so incredibly grateful for this. 

Livvy is remembered so much on this camp and not just because her name hangs on the tea tent that we sponsor each year but also because we hold our annual Livvy’s Smile tea party. So many cakes, so many smiles no better way to remember my beautiful girl. Check out the hashtag #makingmemorieswithLivvyssmile on social media sites to see the memories we have created, Facebook especially.

All in all it was an amazing week, yes I was glad to return home to my bed but I was sad to leave this field. 
I want to say a big thank you to Lower Lacon for their wonderful welcome. It seriously is a fantastic camp site and I highly recommend it.


I have especially loved watching my youngest daughter flourish. She became a little like the Pied piper this week always surrounded by children. It certainly makes sense that she wants to work with children with special needs later on in life. I’ve pinched this photo from her Facebook cover. How special is this?



I want to say thank you to the trustees for arranging an awesome week.

A massive thank you to the BBQ team for their constant effort at keeping us all fed. I didn’t realise how much you actually do each week until I camped behind you. Twice a day, every day you were there working hard and for that and the yummy curry I am truly grateful. You guys rock. 

Special kids in the UK is an amazing charity from the forum to the meet ups it’s a wonderful place for parents and carers of children with disabilities to get support. 

This camping week whilst a highlight of the charity is only a part of what it offers. I cant actually remember how long I have been part of this charity but I’m sure it’s been over 10 years. 

If you are a parent or a carer of a child with special needs check out the website and the forum. Honestly you won’t find a bigger welcome anywhere. 

It’s more than a charity it’s a family.

My Special kids in the UK family.

I need you to eat cake.

I have something to share with you all today, its information on a fundraising event I really would love you to be part off.

Now before you turn off thinking oh no she is after my money please just read on a little more.

On May 5th I’m asking you to eat cake.

That’s right you ‘EAT CAKE’ how cool is this?


On May 5th 2015 my beautiful daughter should be celebrating her sixteenth birthday, her ‘sweet sixteen’ and to be honest I’m rather peeved thats she isn’t.

In fact as I write this I’m tumbling through the crappy vortex of grief, I’m hurting, I’m missing and I’m damned angry at life.

Yet rather than allow myself to fall into the abyss I decided many weeks ago to turn this painful day into the celebration Livvy would like, the birthday Livvy deserves.

So here is the bit where you come in.

I have created a Facebook event called Livvy’s 16th birthday fundraising celebration and the hashtag #Happy16thLivvy

What I’m asking you do is this, wherever you are at home at work with friends or family come together and eat cake.

Celebrating my beautiful girl by making the memories that we all hold dear.

Then each, or all together pledge £16 to the charity formed in Livvy’s memory, Livvy’s Smile.

This can come in the form of a cheque to Livvy’s Smile or via Paypal,

Also I want photographic evidence  ha ha.

Upload to any social media sites using the hashtag #Happy16thLivvy  maybe if you can tag me as well @livvyssmile on twitter or upload to the event page also on Facebook. I so want to see you smiles and you making memories as I cherish those I have of my beautiful girlie.

Every penny raised from this event will go towards creating memory making days for children with disabilities.

So are you with me ???

16thbirthdayinfographic 600



I’m on the T.V

So a few weeks ago I blogged about my youngest daughter winning the Mayor Civic award  due to this amazing achievement Brodie and I were asked into our local tv station to share more about the award and Livvy.

Take a look at our interview here.

Be kind, I love to talk and Brodie bless her got stage fright.



If you want to learn more about Livvy’s Smile check out our website Livvy’s Smile and if you are interested in joining us to celebrate Livvy’s 16th Check out the facebook event here…

My greatest prizes

Like most parents I celebrate the awards and achievements my children have earned from star reader to huggable hero I am proud of all of them. Yet when my child is celebrated for her kindness and compassion my heart fills that little bit more.

Kindness and empathy are two of the greatest qualities I hope for my girls. That they to look beyond themselves and to care and love upon others. 

My girls life experiences have led them to many opportunities to do just this and I am proud to say that they have never let me down they have always shown compassion even when they haven’t really wanted to.

So yes this last Friday night found me bursting with pride when my youngest  daughter  Brodie  was announced as a winner of a Mayor Civic Award.  

As we sat there in the Town hall hearing stories of incredible achievements from amazing people we honestly was just  happy to be there. My daughter in fact was surprised to even be considered against some of these inspiring people. So imagine her shock when she was named overall winner of her category. I wished I had my camera as she asked “did they really call my name”.


The evening was truly special good food, great company and this award was lovely but my biggest prize came in the journey home when my daughter turned to me and said “this award is lovely mom but getting to be Livvy’s sister is the biggest prize  ever”. 

Livvy is and always will be our inspiration but as a mom I know I have been blessed not only to be Livvys mom but to also call her sisters Kennedy, Eden and  Brodie “my daughters ”  they are all my prizes 

My new Livvy’s Smile T-Shirt

Over at my alter ego Livvy’s Smile we host many events that require me to wear a promotional T-shirt, both for publicity and recognition. So over the last few years I have gone through a number of tops.

So when I was asked by T-shirt  if I would like to review one of their tops I asked with a “hell yeah”.

It was easy for me to design my top with the sizes and colours the site has available and most important was the fact that I could add both the charities logo to the top but also Livvy’s photo.

The site offers a lot more that just T-shirts they have hoodies, kids-wear and workwear too.

I was really pleased overall with the ease of use with the site also the quick turnaround of the order.

Here I am modelling my new Livvy’s Smile top.

Image 1



As you can see the quality of the printing is pretty good.

So if you are after promotional wear check out T

Don’t switch off…

Last weekend we visited the Big Church Day out and we had an incredible time.


Yet I couldn’t understand my husbands reluctance to stay in the market place for long. In fact I was rather cross as I was looking forward to listening to the information about the charities there and learning more about them.


So there I am moaning at my husband for dragging me away thinking that he is just scared I’m going to spend too much money when he finally tells me simply ” he couldn’t face it”‘. The truth was the charities and their imagery had all been to much for him and he had found himself overwhelmed with the amount of different organisations and the real need in the world and he just didn’t know where to start or how to help them and to be honest he knew he couldn’t help them all.


After I apologised for judging him quite harshly I too could see his point of view. There were so many good causes, so where do you start?


This left me wondering about the country in general, I had been eavesdropping on a conversation only the other day in a coffee shop a woman was saying she was getting fed up of charities being everywhere, people stopping her in the street, bags through her door, on the television children in need, soccer aid and so many more she just found herself switching off, like my husband she knew she couldn’t help them all so had stopped trying.


This saddened me, the truth is charities really need people’s help and yes they have to publicise themselves to raise awareness for funding and for most cases funding saves or changes lives.


Awareness means knowledge,

Knowledge means support

Support means lives changed.

Anyway i’m digressing back to my conversation with my husband we chatted a while and I just simply said” follow your heart”. To which I got the puzzled “yeah right” look.


No, seriously I said “ follow your heart”, listen and see what really stirs at your soul. What angers you, what makes you sad, what feeds your passion and support that charity.


If you are saddened by homelessness, support them.


If poverty in the third world breaks your heart, help them


If human trafficking makes you so angry you cannot breathe, fight with them.


Follow your heart


Charities find that when people are affected by the problem they become supporters, for example cancer suffers, people who have lost loved ones to cancer are more likely to support cancer charities, etc, they are following their hearts.


Yes there are so many to choose from, the whole world is in need, but don’t be like that lady in the coffee shop, don’t stop listening, don’t stop caring, let your heart direct you to the cause, charity that you can support with dedication.


For me there are a few


Compassion UK is so close to my heart, no child should live in poverty


Rett syndrome research trust uk, working to find the cure for Rett syndrome the evil that took my baby away.


Human trafficking, a cause that I’m new too but i am learning more about each day. I want to fight with a passion and an anger that burns in my heart, no one should ever be sold. People are not a commodity.

And of course my heart

Livvy’s Smile, creating memories for disabled children and their families

When I talk about the above charities, my heart is filled with a passion. I’m told I light up with emotion.


Why because I follow my heart..


Don’t be dimmed by the masses but be fired up by the few,


And if you are overwhelmed like my husband I simply suggest you listen to what the charity advocates are telling you and see if your heart stirs, if not just thank them for there time and move on.


But never ever switch off.


There is so much need in the world, so many needing help.


Open your heart and listen